Twist provided the comments from “L” in a comment of her own at the bottom of her post today. Straight from the mouth of the mysterious “L”:
There are so many factors to consider that anyone using this for reporting purposes, i.e. average list price, median list or sale price, number of homes on the market ect. is just kidding themselves.
The MLS has a “Reports” section that goes back till March 2006. As of today you can look at everything that happened from that day, on a day to day basis. However, it means really nothing, as most listings from that period have been updated, as has been explained above.
Like they say “Garbage in, garbage out.” A seasoned agent can look at the numbers and tell what’s happening and knows what’s on the market, what’s new to the market, and so on from experience. Just like a doctor that specializes in a certain field, it takes a professional to interpret this data.
Twist then concludes:
The MLS was set up to assist realtors in selling properties, not to provide accurate statistics for consumers. When these reports are generated, they are flawed because the MLS is being used for a purpose for which it is not intended. The National Assn. of Homebuilders at least provides a margin of error on their national report, which allows us to see how fuzzy their results are. We are fed these MLS reports without a margin of error, and without the explanations being offered by L.
Any agent will be willing to provide the explanations, of course. I said essentially the same thing in my first post this morning. Whether anyone takes the time to listen, that’s the real question.